Muslims to Journalists: “Convert or Die”

August 29, 2006  •  From

Convert or die. That is the message that Muslim terrorists sent by freeing two kidnapped journalists only after they “converted” to Islam on videotape at the point of a gun. The International Herald Tribune reported,

The two journalists from Fox News—Steve Centanni, 60, an American, and Olaf Wiig, 36, a freelance cameraman from New Zealand—were held for 13 days in an abandoned garage in the Gaza Strip as hostages of a previously unknown group calling itself the Holy Jihad Brigades.

“I’m really fine, healthy, in good shape and so happy to be free,” Mr. Centanni told Fox News. He said the two were forced at gunpoint to say that they were converting to Islam and took Muslim names.

“I have the highest respect for Islam,” he said. “But it was something we felt we had to do because they had the guns, and we didn’t know what … was going on.” …

Centanni said that the men were forced to make videotapes decrying American policies and converting to Islam.

The event made for an interesting photo op, as Hamas leader-turned Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniya posed with the journalists after having asked their captors to release them.

But this feel-good moment has a sinister undertone, impossible to ignore: We live in an age when the fastest-growing religion on Earth includes a mushrooming contingent of adherents who are determined to spread their faith through medieval methods.

Convert or die is hardly a new message; it has been employed by religions in spurts throughout the ages. Sadly, those spurts represent the bloodiest chapters of human history.

To this point, the response from those being so blackmailed has been no more confrontational than that of these journalists, who simply did exactly as they were told. However, we can expect that in short order, Western resistance—particularly within continental Europe—will solidify. Evidence of a coming backlash is already building.